Issue(s): Marvels #1
Review/plot: Well, this is really refreshing in the middle of all these Golden Age stories. I was afraid that when i re-read this it would seem too precious and nostalgic, since that's my impression of Busiek lately, but this is actually very, very good. It's not just a trip down Golden Age Memory lane - it's an ordinary person's reaction to the appearance of actual super-powered individuals (as opposed to men-in-tights pulp heroes)...
...and for the most part it's not a pretty reaction.
It really took WWII propaganda to get the public to not hate and fear the new super-powers...
...so it's pretty easy to see the public slip back into hating Spider-Man, persecuting mutants, etc., when the next wave appears in the Silver Age. New character Phil Sheldon is the focus, and he's a little more reasonable, but the early J. Jonah Jameson is the real anti-"marvels" representative.
(I've seen some crazy talk on the internets that this isn't actually JJ, but his father or grandfather or something, since Jameson being alive at this time breaks the 7 year rule, but i'm not buying it.)
This is the first time i've read this after reading all the cheesey Golden Age stories it references and knowledge of the originals just makes this better.
Oh, and the art is fantastic.
This was the first time that painted art was used well in Marvel (it had definitely been used previously, especially in Marvel Fanfare, but it never looked quite right) but by now that novelty has worn off. Nonetheless the pictures are fantastic.
A lot of Alex Ross's stuff makes everyone look fat, dumpy, and old, but aside from Namor's really exaggerated widow's peak, that isn't the case here, and the super hero scenes are really great.
Quality Rating: A
Chronological Placement Considerations: While the majority of this story takes place during Marvel Mystery Comics 8-10, it really spans a lot of the Golden Age up to US involvement in WWII, and ends with a GA super-hero team attacking a Nazi camp in Europe, so I am placing it before the Invaders stories.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showAngel (Golden Age), Betty Dean, Black Avenger, Black Marvel, Black Widow (Golden Age), Blazing Skull, Bucky, Captain America, Destroyer (Brian Falsworth), Doris Sheldon, Human Torch (Golden Age), J. Jonah Jameson, Nick Fury, Phil Sheldon, Phineas Horton, Sub-Mariner, Toro, Vision (Golden Age), Willie Lumpkin
imagine tom defalco having his name on something that isn't complete crap. now that's historical significance.
Posted by: min | December 28, 2006 9:57 PM
Sub-Mariner is actually completely naked throughout the book. Why? I don't know.
Other superhero appearances(you'll need a magnifying glass for some of these):GA Black Widow, Blazing Skull, Thunderer, GA Electro.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 30, 2011 7:55 PM
Sources page info from the trade paperback edition:
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | April 27, 2014 2:10 AM
"Sub-Mariner is actually completely naked throughout the book. Why? I don't know."
PANTS ARE A SURFACE-DWELLER INDULGENCE! HOW MANY FISH HAVE YOU SEEN WEARING PANTS? IMPERIOUS REX!
Posted by: ParanoidObsessive | July 15, 2014 12:08 PM
Perhaps the Shark stole them again.
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | December 17, 2017 8:53 AM
"Pants are surface-dweller indulgence!"
... can't add sth more profound to the entries of this fabulous series before I get that comment out of my system. ;))
Posted by: Multiple Manu | January 12, 2018 7:24 AM
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